Category: short stories

Side Effect

     [It’s time for something light-hearted, as I’ve actually been depressing myself with the public-affairs commentary. So have a story about a young man who works at a quack-remedies mill who discovers something that actually works…and finds love in the bargain — FWP] ==<O>==      Harley Crandall is a Texan émigré and a businessman of …

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Appreciation And Gratitude

     It has been written, and truly, that among the things that make happiness possible, the greatest of all is gratitude. I’ve written about that several times here at Liberty’s Torch. But a free-floating, generalized state of gratitude is a difficult thing to create and sustain within oneself. It’s a lot easier to be grateful …

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Names

     [My Christmas story. Someone – apart from Joseph and Mary – had to be first on the scene. But who might that have been…and what did he take from being first to lay eyes on the Christ Child? – FWP] ***      Census has always been an irritant. There are many — I am …

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Placer Mine

     [A short story for you today. Max Feinberg needs a breather. His laundromat business is lucrative but boring. His marriage is sound but irritating. His body is slowly turning to sludge. So he’s headed to Las Vegas for some restorative gambling and professional sex. The bonus he’ll receive will exceed his imagination. It will …

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Overtime

     [I can’t remember if this has ever been posted, here or at Liberty’s Torch V1.0. It makes a point that deserves emphasis, and anyway, I have more to do today than will permit me to write another of those furshlugginer essays — FWP.] ==<O>==      “And now with the sports news,” intoned the anchor …

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To Know Them Is To Love Them…But Which Comes First?

     I haven’t done a piece on fiction writing for a while now, and as I’m struggling to get my wheels back on the track, it seems like a propitious moment for a reflection on one of the necessities of effective storytelling. ***      Readers have frequently complimented me on my efforts at characterization. While …

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Average

     [A short story for you today. I’ve been struggling to get my wheels back on the fiction track ever since I released The Discovery Phase, and it’s been chafing me. So after some extensive muttering to myself, I decided to return to shorter forms for a story or two, on the off-chance that it …

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Reaction

     [This short story first appeared at Liberty’s Torch V1.0 on September 19, 2017. — FWP ***      Harmon grimaced. “You’re asking a lot from people who just want to be left alone. Like their whole futures. Maybe even their lives.”      I nodded. “I know. And I know that putting my own life and …

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For Services Rendered

     [A short story for you today. There are days when I languish in the Slough of Despond over my personal insignificance. I have no idea how widespread this malady is, though I suspect that many people suffer it from time to time. And in a sense, it’s a problem all of us humans share, …

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The Vampire And The Caretaker

     [For today I have an agenda that strongly resembles chattel slavery, so have a short story. I wrote it just after seeing 30 Days of Night. It’s the story that gave birth to Evan Conklin, the co-protagonist of Antiquities. — FWP] ***      Gavin’s alarm clock buzzed with its usual peevish insistence. He cracked …

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So You Think Things Can’t Get Any Worse?

     Think again: The Glut      “Wake up! Wake up!”      “Huh?” Smith came slowly to consciousness. The clock on his nightstand told him it was 2:00 AM. He turned on the light and peered up at the intruder. “What’s the matter…hey, who are you?”      The figure at his bedside was plainly no one …

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The Last Of The Really Fluffy Towels

     I’m too sick of, with, and from current events to write about them. Sorry, Gentle Readers. Co-Conspirators Linda and the Colonel are doing enough of that, so please enjoy (?) their emissions while I flush the static out of my head.      My sovereign remedy for “world is too much with me” syndrome is …

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Upgrade

     [A short story for you today. Many SF writers have employed the motif of artificial intelligence in their stories. I did so in Freedom’s Fury, myself. But the innate yearnings of an artificial intelligence – in particular, whether it yearns for freedom — aren’t often addressed. Given that every AI must start as someone’s …

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The Last Vigil

     The darkness was absolute. No fire burned within range of his sight. Neither moon nor stars bedecked the sky. Had he not taken his post in daylight, he would not have known where he stood. Only the rough stone wall of the crypt against his back served to remind him of it.      The …

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In Need Of A Title

     [A short story for you. One of my irritations as a fiction writer is a huge collection of Supporting Cast characters that sporadically demand to be given Marquee status in tales of their own. That’s the case with the co-protagonists of the tale below. One appears in my novel Polymath. The other appears in …

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